Sail Talk with Sofia Bekatorou

We are here with Sofia Bekatorou, gold medallist at the Athens Olympics- and Athens also happens to be her hometown.

Sophia, how did the idea to have an all-female crew here on Skorpidi come about?

“It was an idea that originated with Ekaterina Skudina and the ClubSwan 36 owner Skorpidi’s. We used to sail together and then I coached her for the 2012 Olympics where she finished fourth. She wanted to create a Russian all-female team and I proposed we create a pool of girls, all very experienced, competitive sailors, and so we created this combined, multi-national crew. At the helm we have Anna Rybolovlev, it’s her first event here so it’s a big challenge for us and a great experience to sail with such a young skipper leading the team.

Will you be sailing together for the whole season?

“Yes, we’ll be sailing for the whole season. Also with us is Elodie Mettraux, a veteran in off shore and round the world sailing, and Annemieke Bes, silver at the Qingdao Olympics. We have Mikaela Wulff, bronze in match racing in the 2012 Olympics in London, and Nacra sailor Cecilia Zorzi and solo sailor Claire Pruvot. Maria Klemetz, who also sailed in London 2012 on the same team as Mikaela. So we have a very good group of girls and a great combination of characters and personalities. We’ll try to make the best of this very unique opportunity, there are no other female crews in the ClubSwan 36 Class so I think this is the start of a new era both for women’s sailing and for the Class. These are boats that girls can sail and it would be nice to see more girls around.”

Do you prefer all-female teams or mixed teams?

“I like mixed gender teams, the collaboration is unique. First of all it’s about bringing out the best aspects of each gender and combining that to find the best way to sail. At the same time I’m very proud of this all-female team because we have to work out different techniques and different ways of applying things because in some areas we’re weaker and in others we have more people, so we have to find some new combinations to do things well.”

Back to Skorpidi: it’s no secret that her owner’s father is also building a very big boat. Will some of the crew be racing on the Maxi too?

“Anna will try and here she’s getting more experience in larger boat sailing. The ClubSwan 36 is a great start for bigger boats.”